The first episode of Robot Wars Extreme: Series 1 was originally broadcast on October 8, 2001 on BBC Choice and repeated on October 26, 2001 on BBC Two.
Like most of the episodes of Extreme, it featured episodes from multiple tournaments that ran across the tournament, as well as a main event. Here, the main event was the first battle of the Challenge Belt.
The BBC Two broadcast managed to attract 2.87 million viewers. According to BARB, this meant it ranked fourteenth in the top thirty highest rated BBC 2 broadcasts during 22-28 October, between Natural World and The Simpsons.
"Yes, that's right Craig, tonight's main event will be our Challenge Belt. Behemoth, the current holders have thrown down the gauntlet to any would-be challengers. But while we find a team with both the brains and brawn to beat those Behemoth boys, let's take a look at what else is on tonight's show. In a moment, there's a chance to settle old scores in our Vengeance battle between Tornado and Stinger. There's full-on carnage in our metal-mashing Mayhem and there are two battles featuring the best of the best in our All-Star competition. And all that before our main event, the Challenge Belt, and Behemoth are in the pits right now with a message of intent for tonight's show"
— Jonathan Pearce
The main event of Episode 1 was the first round of the Challenge Belt. Behemoth was awarded the titular Challenge Belt during the episode and could be challenged by any competitor for ownership of the belt. Unlike later appearances, Behemoth's opponent was not initially presented, under the guise that a challenger had not been found.
"We're Team Behemoth. This is the Challenge Belt. We got it, we deserve it. If you want it, come and get it!"
Robot Wars Extreme: Series 1/Vengeance#Stinger vs Tornado
The first battle of the episode was a Vengeance battle between Stinger and Tornado, with Tornado looking to prove its superiority over its opponent after the Stinger team claimed Tornado was "just a big boring box on wheels". Tornado won the fight on a close judges' decision.
"Now another robot who doesn't take any prisoners is Behemoth. They're back and this time they say they're unbeatable. Well, Julia, I'd say prove it."
— Craig Charles
Following on from this fight was the first build-up segment for the Challenge Belt. Julia Reed presented Behemoth with the Challenge Belt, provided by the fictitious World Association of Robotics (W.A.R.), on claims that Team Make Robotics had made that their robot was "indestructible".
"We are the best. We are indestructible"
— Kane Aston
Reed then explained the rules - any team could challenge Behemoth for the belt and Behemoth would lose the belt if the challenge was declined. If Behemoth could win three challenges, then the team would be allowed to keep the belt. Team Make Robotics accepted the terms and were given the belt, before Reed left to search for a challenger.
Chaos 2, The Steel Avenger and S.M.I.D.S.Y. would also appear in the first episode of The Fifth Wars.
The battle between Stinger and Tornado was the first battle to take place in Robot Wars Extreme. Due to this, several occurrences took place for the first time in that battle.
It was the first time that Mat Irvine acted as a judge.
It was the first battle where Refbot's counter was seen and shown to work, although it was used as a timer for the match, not to count out either of the competitors.
It was the first battle to take place in the fifth incarnation of the Robot Wars Arena, which would become the permanent design of the arena until the end of the original show's run.
Ahead of the battle between Behemoth and The Steel Avenger, a statistics board erroneously claimed that The Steel Avenger had lost in the first round of Series 3 and 4, when it actually reached the second round and the Heat Final respectively.